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Dilshan lost for words after embarrassing defeat

Rex Clementine reporting from Paarl

Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan’s face was gloomy and he  struggled to explain the country’s worst ever performance in ODI cricket in  Paarl. The tourists were shot out for 43 runs, their lowest in ODI cricket to  suffer an embarrassing 258 run defeat at the hands of South Africa in the first  ODI on Wednesday.

"This is my worst game ever," a crestfallen Dilshan told  journalists.

"In the first five overs we lost five wickets and when you lose  five in five overs, it’s hard to come back. It was a terrible performance. It’s  a very good track and one of the flattest I have seen and they bowled  exceptionally well today," Dilshan added.

Sri Lanka’s training on this tour has been intense with every  session lasting for more than three hours. Dilshan himself has worked extremely  hard in the nets spending hours facing throw downs. After being dismissed  cheaply in the warm-up game at Brackenfell against Emerging Cobras, he was seen  working with batting coach Marvan Atapattu for over an hour to get things right.

"Our training and preparation have been right, but unfortunately  we are not carrying those things into the middle."

"It was a bad game for us and we need to sit down and discuss  among senior players and the management what went wrong. At the moment we can’t  point our fingers at anyone. As a team, we have to come strongly in the next  game in East London," Dilshan added.

Sri Lanka have little time to regroup ahead of the second ODI on  Saturday. The team took a flight from Cape Town on Thursday to East London and  will train on Friday afternoon ahead of the second ODI on Saturday. "Our main  goal during the next couple of days is to try and win the second ODI and square  the series. I don’t think we can do different things. We’re training really well  and hopefully we can bounce back," Dilshan went on.

The tourists started off the tour losing the first Test at  Centurion inside three days by a massive innings and 81 runs before overcoming  the Proteas in Durban to record their first ever Test win on South African soil  and the team probably can take inspiration from that historic win.

"We didn’t start well in the Test series but we came back  strongly in the second Test. We will work hard and try to bounce back in the  second ODI," Dilshan added.

"We are an experienced team. We can adjust quickly like we did  in the second Test and start playing to our potential," he added.

Posted on 2012-01-12 14:49:41
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QUESTION?

Should Dilshan have continued until Cricket World Cup 2019?

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THE DAY'S QUOTE

“That was pathetic. No excuse at all. The whole team is responsible. Whoever the captain is, we have to back him and try and support him. The captain has to do so many other stuff. All the 11 guys must back him and support him.” “We have addressed the issue of finishing off the overs on time in the past as well, but it cropped up again. It’s so unfortunate to see Upul going out as he is a crucial player in our set up. He batted well against South Africa and it’s so unfortunate. This can’t happen again,” - Angelo Mathews

FEEDBACK/COMMENTS

Cricket is a game of fine margins and Mathews is set to be a modern great. Hang in their Angie, this team can achieve something on this tour. Thirimane and the youngsters form was a real positive. Prasad was missed. Chameera should be persisted with. If Bairstow was our early outcome could have been very different.

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